Bunbury may set up a free camp in heart of its CBD

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Bumbury free camping
Bunbury is considering allowing a free camp in the CBD

The WA town of Bunbury is considering the idea of trialling a free camping area in the Central Business District.

The location being suggested by City of Bunbury staff is Queens Gardens on Cobblestone Drive, with the council due to consider the proposal at its meeting next week.

The location is bounded by homes, a skatepark, the Leschenault Inlet, a restaurant and boating facilities.

The West Australian newspaper reports that the suggestion follows the recommendations from a working group, which was tasked with looking into free or low cost camping options in the city.

It says that while Turkey Point was previously identified as the preferred site, the waterside location has been ruled out by staff due to cost, contamination and access issues.

In a briefing session, it was stressed that the concept would need extensive consultation with nearby residents and businesses before it went ahead.

It is understood the trial would allow for self-contained recreational vehicles and overnight camping from 5pm to 8am.

The concept has already raised a number of questions from councillors, including when the State Government would ‘come to the party’ and relax laws to allow ‘farmers to have 48 hours camping on their farms’.

Council chief executive officer, Mal Osborne, told the council that the industry stakeholders were calling for free camping and they believed the concept could benefit the economy.

“There are a group of people travelling around Australia who do not want to pay to stay in caravan parks, but who will demonstrate that they still make a sizeable contribution to an economy when they visit that economy if they’re not paying for overnight parking,” Mr Osborne said. “They can demonstrate that they actually make that investment into the community in other ways.”

The West Australian reports that the council will vote on the trial next week.

  • Would you use a free camp in Bunbury? Comment below.

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9 Responses to Bunbury may set up a free camp in heart of its CBD

  1. Most ppl want to be in and set up before 5 pm. Especially if you want to check out the shops.

  2. They need to realise that the longer you are allowed to stay, the more you will spend. An over night stop is a good safety measure but will do little to boost the economy. I have never stopped in Bunbury, just driven through.

  3. I most certainly would. We free camp wherever possible as it is so expensive to use caravan parks all the time.
    We are fully self contained.
    Everyone has as to buy fuel and food so you always spend money.

  4. Great Idea. Having travelled extensively in all states of Australia with a van and used low cost or free camping in townsites it can only benifit businesses in Bunbury.

  5. Sounds like a good spot,but allow us more time to spend money in your shops thank you from a visitor in SA

  6. 48 hrs is more profitable to townships. At the very least,make it 10am to 10 am. 5pm to 8am only suits backpackers and Busso & Collie Night clubbers in non self contained vehicles and Coles the sole benefficiary. How about area’s not reliant on paid parking such as the old punchbowl park , opposite our poorly promoted Dolphin centre , or the land opposite the Entertaient Centre near the plug. This would ensure Queen Victoria park lawns would remain sweet & local residents not inconvenienced. Bunbury seriously needs to pick up it’s game for independent and cashed up travellers. Bunbury’s existing Caravan parks are overpriced and mostly known as last resort or quick repair stops on the way to “anywhere else”.

  7. My wife and I have travelled extensively around Australia in our motor home and have stayed in the best and worst of free camping sites. Bunbury council should definately proceed with this free camp facility as it will provide more customers for the local businesses. We always spend money in the towns that provide free campsites as a way of thanking them for the facilities. We are fully self sufficient with our motorhome and we hate staying in caravan parks as many parks facilities are poorly maintained, the sites are all too close together and prices are excessive.

  8. free camping would be an excellent idea. Caravan parks are just too expensive.However they could become involved in a way by offering low cost stays for self contained vehicles with limited use of facilities.However it needs to be kept in mind that there are some travellers who will never stay in a caravan park.I believe there is room for free camps,low cost camps and caravan parks.Some will always stay in a caravan park,some will stay in a caravan park occassionally and others will never stay in caravan parks.
    I have spoken to a lot of grey nomads Australia wide.W.A has a reputation for being too expensive.One example was a cost of $75 for an overnight stay on an unpowered site.Families also find it too costly.Some said they loved seeing W.A but would not come back because free camps/low cost camps were few and far between.It was just too expensive to travel here and touristy items on offer were also far too expensive for both individuals and families. Others have said the lack of free/low cost camps would make it too expensive so have ruled out coming here.Word spreads very quickly among travellers.Talking to the CMCA would I believe be a useful exercise for you.
    People have limited funding most of the time and I believe is a market that can be accessed with careful consideration.It would I believe benefit both the local community and travellers.Keeping in mind most travellers are clean and tidy but there a small number who are not and give the rest of us a bad name.

  9. Yes we would use a free camp there, it’s an excellent idea, we free camp and therefore have more money to spend in the town. We free camp and use caravan parks as well with free camp the better option.

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